Baldwin County Teachers of the Year announced


Elementary Teacher of the Year: Laura Ruth Hunter


Laura Ruth Hunter is an Instructional Coach at J. Larry Newton Elementary School. As an Instructional Coach, Hunter provides support to teachers implementing math programs and best practices. She collaborates with administration and teachers to decipher data and make actionable plans for improving students data. She is about to complete her 10th year in education, a profession Hunter says she was born to do. Hunter comes from a family of educators and said she realized her calling during her senior year of college while she was pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering. Hunter said she realized her passion was to work with children, so she changed her major to elementary education and never looked back.


Hunter started her career at Newton with a passion for inspiring children to love math and science. After three years, Hunter furthered her aspirations by becoming a regional math specialist with AMSTI. When the opportunity arose to return to Newton, Hunter jumped at the chance to return to the school where it all started as the math and science instructional coach. Hunter continues to challenge our youth and make them confident in their math and science abilities.


Hunter is married to Kyle Hunter, a coach and educator also with Baldwin County Public Schools. Together they share a baby girl, with another little Hunter due this year. Join us in congratulating Laura Ruth Hunter on her selection as the Baldwin County Public Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year!


Secondary Teacher of the Year: Dianne Casolaro


Dianne Casolaro teaches multiple levels of English at Daphne High School. She currently teaches English 9 Advanced, English 11 International Baccalaureate, and English 12 Dual Enrollment. While at Daphne, she has also taught English 10 Advanced and Standard, English 12, and   Mythology, Literature and Fable. Casolaro is about to complete her 24th year of teaching, but her career started in a different way. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked as a writer. As a journalist, she saw much goodwill, but also much ill-will. She remembered her grandfather’s retirement reception after 50 years as an educator where he received accolades as a teacher and principal. She longed to make a difference and wanted to continue to share her love of writing. She made the move to education where she has the title of “English teacher,” but Casolaro hopes to also be remembered as a “motivator,” “encourager,” “mentor,” and “difference-maker.”


Casolaro is a National Board Certified Teacher and taught at Baldwin County High School and Robertsdale High School before joining the staff at Daphne High School five years ago. Outside of Baldwin County, Casolaro has taught for Orange and Lake County (Florida) Public Schools and for the Jefferson County Board of Education.


Casolaro is married with four children, three of whom are graduates of Baldwin County schools, and one who is a current intermediate school student. Join us in congratulating Dianne Casolaro on her selection as the Baldwin County Public Schools Secondary Teacher of the Year!


Teachers of the year at each Baldwin County School System school:



Baldwin County High:  Chantelle McPherson


Baldwin County Virtual:  Starla Morris

Bay Minette Elementary: Angela White


Bay Minette Middle: LaShanda Renee Richardson

Central Baldwin Middle: Nancy McAllister

CF Taylor:  Gail Filotei

Daphne Elementary: Ashley McKenzie

Daphne East Elementary: Sarah Bates

Daphne Middle: Holly Wiggins

Daphne High:  Dianne S. Casolaro

Delta Elementary:  Margaret Kearney

Elberta Elementary: Kimberly Therber


Elberta Middle:  Christa Goodwin

Elberta High: Matthew Hurst


Elsanor Elementary: Cheyl Moore


Fairhope Middle:  Ashley Lathan

Fairhope Intermediate: Christin Ferguson

Fairhope High: Kelly B. Williams

Robertsdale Elementary:  Ashley Dupree 

Foley Middle: Dawn Dunbar

Foley High:  Stan Shotts

J. Larry Newton: Laura Ruth Hunter


Loxley Elementary: Mary Catherine Holliman


Magnolia Elementary:  Jessica Partin


North Baldwin Center for Technology: Vicki DeFee

Orange Beach Elementary: Rachel Ellsworth

Orange Beach Middle: Leah Koontz-Tucker



Orange Beach High:  Katie Brewer

Pine Grove Elementary: Danyl January

Robertsdale Elementary:  Ashley Dupree 


Robertsdale High:  Jennifer Leigh Jones

Rockwell Elementary: Cindy Brown


Rosinton Elementary: Dr. Lonny Hughes


Silverhill Elementary: Jo McGill

Spanish Fort Elementary: Mary T. Armstrong

Spanish Fort Middle: Margaret K. Howard

Spanish Fort High: Angie Phillips


South Baldwin Center for Technology: Michael Bland

Stapleton Elementary: Diane Lump


Summerdale Elementary: Kelli Presley

Summerdale Intermediate: Tami Rucando 

Swift Consolidated: Angie Ingraham

W.J. Carroll Intermediate: Jenny W. Hamilton